Another fiscal year, another consecutive record for gaming revenues in Pennsylvania. That’s due in large part from a strong boost from sports wagering and the recent addition of online sportsbooks.
Total gaming revenue for 2018/2019 was $3,309,766,175 the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced Thursday morning. That bested the previous annual record from the year before by $59 million, or 1.8%.
The PGCB also released monthly sports wagering numbers on Thursday showing recent tremendous growth in the newer segment of the Pennsylvania gambling market, sports betting.
Increased sports betting means more tax revenue
With the growth in revenue, the amount of taxes collected increased.
The estimated combined tax revenue for the 2018/2019 fiscal year was $1,390,870,251 compared to $1,337,298,788 for the previous fiscal year. Tax revenue figures may still be adjusted.
|Casino or Off-Track Betting Facility||Retail Handle||Land-Based|
|Online Handle||Online Revenue||Total Handle||Total Revenue|
|South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook||$2,462,294||$161,001||0||0||$2,462,294||$161,001|
|Valley Forge Casino Resort||$2,291,020||$149,621||0||0||$2,291,020||$149,621|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course||$2,410,357||$83,520||0||0||$2,410,357||$83,520|
|Oaks Race and Sportsbook||$1,052,241||$76,594||0||0||$1,052,241||$76,594|
Online sports betting took off in June
The explosion of online wagering numbers potentially comes at the expense of retail sportsbooks under the same brand name, though it also grew the pool.
Underscoring the change, the overall handle wagered in May at retail sports locations in Pennsylvania was $35,361,052, but that had fallen to $27,008,024 in June, a decrease of more than $5.3 million. This could be explained, at least in part, by the seasonality of the sports betting calendar.
Conversely, just $573,163 in sports bets were wagered online in the final days of May with extremely limited days, hours, and participants, but June exploded with a handle of $19,326,220 as Rivers Casino and Parx Casino joined SugarHouse Casino in the online sports betting market.
SugarHouse’s handle during four abbreviated days of online wagering in May was just $573,163, but that boomed to $18,170,689 during June. That produced revenue of $1,310,926 and taxes of $158,133.
Meanwhile, their retail book took in wagers of $7,350,676 during May, but fell to $5,160,836 in June.
For Rivers, their June online handle was $848,520, with revenue of $81,122, but aggressive free play offers ran up deficits, according to PGCB spokesman Dough Harbach, The losses were $155,577, according to the board’s figures.
Their retail sports handle in June was $6,203,733, with gross revenue of $247,309.
Parx online handle was $307,011 in June, with revenue of $46,645. Their retails wagers in June totaled $5,175,829, with a gross of $367,206.
The eight PA retail sportsbooks took in a total of $27 million in bets combined in June.
Yearly casino numbers show importance of sports betting
The annual contributions from retail sports betting, online sports betting, and fantasy sports, a total of $45,318,603, offset a decline in table game revenue of nearly $9.7 million during the just-concluded fiscal year.
In 2018/2019, table games across the state took in revenue of $885,588,231. The 2017/2018 year produced record table game revenue of $895,278,806. Lady Luck Nemacolin experienced the sharpest year-over-year decline, dropping 30.59%. Rivers Casino saw the biggest uptick, which came in at 9.31%.
Slot revenue also increased by 1.1% in the past fiscal year, coming in at $2,378,859,341 gross revenue and $1,237,085,077 tax revenue in 2018/2019 compared to $2,352,320,937 in gross revenue and $1,192,851,503 in tax revenue from the previous year.
But slot performance varied widely at each property in the most recent year, ranging from an increase of 11.06% at Valley Forge Casino Resort to a decrease of -4.78% at Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin.
The PGCB fiscal year numbers are the first annual revenue accounting to include numbers for sports wagering and fantasy sports contests, activities added under the 2017 law expanding gambling.
Fantasy sports betting up
Another sports-related bright spot in the June report was the spike upwards for fantasy sports contests.
June’s revenue spiked up to $1,592,313, an increase of 56% over June of last year when fantasy contests revenue was $1,017,862.
Tax revenue collected from the play of fantasy sports for this June was $238,847.